Have you thought about buying an air fryer? Before you buy the bandwagon, here are 7 important things you should know.
Philips Air Fryer Review
This post refers to a Philips Airfryer HD9641, bought on a whim for Black Friday, and have been getting intimate with it ever since. It has been the best addition to my kitchen just short of an actual paid dishwasher.
America’s Test Kitchen rated the Philips Air Fryer as the best one on the market.
I just wish I knew these 7 things before buying one, so you may want to consider them too.
7 Things You Should Know BEFORE Buying an Air Fryer
1) It’s loud
Like really loud. Like a small airplane landing in your backyard or living next to a busy highway, you can hear this constant hum in the background.
It’s the equivalent of high powered fans over a restaurant gas range. You get used to it after a while, but it is terribly noticeable.
2) It smokes a lot
It’s like a humidifier in your kitchen, except it spews the exhaust from your hot food. All those air fried fumes have to go somewhere.
Tip: Put the air fryer on your stove top right underneath your fan. This does mean even more noise but you’ll also keep all the aromas from wafting through your whole house.
Alternately, you can put a peice of sliced bread at the bottom of the tray underneath the cooking rack to sop up the drippings and keep them from turning into vapor.
3) It only goes up to 400 degrees
Presumably, you don’t need to any higher than 400 degrees, and this limit will keep you from burning the food too quickly.
However, I wonder if the food could get crispier or browner if you could heat it just a little higher to 425 or 450 degrees for a shorter period of time.
4) You can’t see the food.
That should be obvious looking at the all black vessel but not something you really think about.
Since it is high heat and you’re not really sure how long anything cooks, it would be helpful if you could take a quick peek, like turning on the oven light in a standard oven.
Instead, you have to open the air fryer and keep checking. It’s a slight hassle they’ve decided you need to live with.
5) It won’t do batter fried food
Wash those dreams of crispy tempura shrimp away. All the batter will slip off the food by the time the air fryer heats up.
You’ll have to make modifications to the recipe by doing coating with panko or breadcrumbs and brushing with oil, which brings us to the next point you should know.
6) You still have to add oil
It won’t get brown on its own. You still need to brush it with some fat that will aid the browning and crispy factor in the oven.
7) The inside is entirely coated with non-stick surfaces
The non-stick surfaces make this easy to clean up. However, the polytetrafluoroethylene, also known as Teflon, will eventually deteriorate, and it’s all too easy to scratch up the surface with an errant fork or metal tongs.
According to Scientific American, ingesting small flakes of this substance is not harmful, but it does put the longevity of each air fryer into question.
Does an air fryer make food crispy?
That is the million dollar question. Can we have deep fried food without actually having to deep fry food?
The air fryer does make food crispy, but it needs help. You need to add some kind of breading and coat with oil. The more generous with the oil you are, the better.
However, if you just put naked chicken wings in the air fryer, they will definitely not get as crispy as if you dropped them in a vat of hot oil. They still do get nicely brown and slightly crispy.
Bonus: It works well for pan-fried foods
Despite the noticeable inferiority to an actual deep fryer, the air fryer displays its colors and true hidden talent with pan-fried food.
Anything you would normally cook on the stove top in a skillet fries beautifully and much more pristinely in the air fryer.
Bacon, hamburgers, anything you would pan-fry or put on the grill but don’t feel like heating it up.
Avoid the grease splatter, stove top clean up, and pan scrubbing by using the small air fryer.
Would I buy one again?
To put it bluntly, no.
It’s expensive (see below), and I’m trying to move away from non-stick surfaces.
Is it worth the price?
As long as we’re being blunt, no.
It’s expensive. For Black Friday on Amazon it was $175, but the regular price hovers around $250. For that price, you could get an Apple watch or a year’s supply of Kettle Chips for all the crispiness you could ever want.
A convection toaster oven where you could actually see the food cooking would seem to be more convenient than the constant opening and closing, wondering if it’s cooked yet, feeling like a child perpetually asking “if we’re there yet?”
What could you buy instead?
You could get a convection toaster oven. Wire-Cutter magazine tested the air fryer, and while they also rated the Philips model as the best, they actually don’t recommend it due to its high cost and clean up.
The clean up requires dissembling the non-stick basket when you could simply clean a tray that goes in a toaster oven.
I’m not entirely sure that a home convection toaster oven would do be as effective as the air fryer, but it would be helpful to see the food as it cooks.
So far, I’m happy with it but not so sure about that non-stick coating that will eventually deteriorate and release toxic chemicals.
Why might you fall in love with it?
Like many flings and shiny objects, there is a passion period at the beginning of any relationship where you love and adore something and overlook all its inherent flaws.
ThePhilips Air Fryer overall works and gets the job done quickly and easily. I’m just not sure how long the honeymoon will last.
For now, however, the honeymoon is going smashingly (and noisily) well without getting grease splatters all over the stove top.
3 Ingredient Sriracha Buffalo Wings – Air Fryer
3-Ingredient Asian Lemon Chicken Wings – Air Fryer
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I have been on the fence on whether r not I want one, now I don’t think so. Noisy appliances are not something I want, ever. Smoky? Don’t beed that either.
Hi Marilou! Other models besides Philips may be less smoky and noisy. I find it’s only smoky when I stuff a lot of wet food inside like chicken. But yes do consider the pros/cons before buying!
Maybe it’s the model you chose, but I have had an air fryer for almost 3 years, and most of the 7 things mentioned here are not accurate, at least in my case. Both of the air fryers I have had were pretty quiet. The reason I have hd 2 is we decided to get a larger one, My air fryer doesn’t smoke, at least not that I have noticed, I suppose if it did go to a higher temperature, things may get crisper, and cook a bit quicker, but it’s not really that big of a deal, I find the crispiness to be pretty good, and the food cooks plenty quick. I can also cook almost anything in mine, and have it come out good.it is true that you can’t see the food, but many of the newer models have clear doors, so you can see the food.You can do battered food, but it is messy, but comes out ok, air frying pre battered frozen food, is a much easier proposition, but this slight negative point is not a deal breaker. Yes adding a light coating of oil or butter does crisp and brown better, and it’s still healthier than total immersion in the oil of a deep fryer. The basket in my air fryer doesn’t appear to be coated in Teflon, where the basket sits might be, but the food never contacts this area. As far as cost, our first smaller air fryer was $80, and the larger one was right around $120 if memory serves, possibly a bit less. So overall I would give it an A-, it’s not perfect, but highly versitle, you can cook almost anything, and even bake in the air fryer. Just like any other kitchen appliance, some work better than others. I have a Power Air fryer Elite. , The smaller one was an xl model, that I gave to my girlfriend who also loves it. Maybe the model you have isn’t very good, But in my opinion air frying works great.
Agreed. Not long acquired, @£59.99…. No big deal , some normal noise for fairly short cooking times; nonsmoking …. Certainly delighted with results, even tho often experimental. High heats not saving electricity…, but depends on amount if use Not a negative! Buy , this side!
Hi Gabazea! Thank you so much for sharing your opinion and adding to the conversation. I am so happy that the air fryer is working so well for you!
Hi Tim! Yes, it very well could be the model I have. Though I will say that I have had the model for longer than 3 years and what I wrote was accurate for me. I will be updating the review with well it’s lasted over the years. So interesting that you tried it with battered food and it came out ok! Really love your detailed feedback, since it will help others in their decision to purchase. Thanks so much for providing!
I actually love my air fryer. My sister and I bought it at Costco in Florida and brought it home one for me one for her and one for our other sister. On sale for $49 US and the double heighth. I love how it cooks but not how it cleans but I’m still all in. No handles to lift out basket so I wanted to get the silicone liner with handles but hubby won’t eat food cooked in silicone. Having to settle for parchment paper with no handles. Ugh.
Wow I can’t believe you got one for $49. What a steal! How nice of you to honor your husband’s wish to not eat from silicone. I’ve thought about getting the silicone insert but just never gotten around to it (much like using the instant pot). Parchment paper sounds like a good alternative. Maybe using a flat metal spatula might make it easier to lift out? I actually don’t use any liners and just wash the thing. Thanks so much for writing and sharing your experience!
Best investment I have ever made!! Saves on cooking time and the food is perfect., Easy to use and easy to clean, as for noise and smoke, never noticed any!!
I agree…I bought my first air fryer at Christmas time on sale for $35 & I love it!!! Most of the statements made in this article are false!! Mine is not loud at all, it doesn’t smoke, you don’t need to use oil, why would you need it to go higher than 400°? I would highly recommend them, they save so much time & you don’t have to heat up your big oven. Highly recommend an air fryer!!
Hi Robin! Thank you for providing your comments and visiting this site! What I wrote was true for me, otherwise I wouldn’t have written them. I’m very happy to hear that the air fryer has been an amazing product for you. 🙂
Hi Gwen! Yay! That’s so awesome to hear it’s been a wonderful investment. Kitchen appliances can be pricey so good values are appreciated! Thanks so much for reading the review and sharing your thoughts!
I don’t have the same model you tested so my results have been drastically different.
Mine isn’t any louder than a microwave and goes up to 425°f.
Our model hasn’t have any problems with smoke.
Our model also does great batter fried foods.
As for the non-stick part, when it started to flake we got some silicon inserts and now it actually fries better. The inserts mean no oil is needed and cleanup is very easy.
We’ve had ours for about 3 years and use it very often to make crispy pizza slices to tempura to even eggs.
I’m sorry the motel you tested seems to have so many problems.
Hi Mea! I may have an older model that they’ve tweaked since the one that you purchase does not appear to have the same issues. Great call getting the silicon inserts! I’ve been meaning to do that to avoid messing up that nonstick coating. Thanks so much for reading the review and sharing your experience!
Never had an issue with noise or smoke. I got mine for about $35 usd and has been a lifesaver! It’s an Emrald..
Hi Summer! Wow, $35 is a steal! I wish all lifesavers were that affordable. Really appreciate your thoughts and commentary on this site!
I purchased a convection toaster oven/air fryer because I try to avoid one-use appliances. To your point, I do like that I can see the food and easily check on it. I also like that I just have to wash the one tray after I’ve air fried.
What I don’t like is the small amount of food it makes (which I don’t think would be any different with a traditional air fryer). I often double (sometimes triple) recipes so we’ll have leftovers. To have one meal’s worth of left overs with the air fryer, I have to put in another batch and cook it while we’re eating – not ideal. I also haven’t found that it saves any time. It may be that I am cooking things I wouldn’t have before and I just don’t have the recipes and techniques down yet. For instance, we never pan fried things before, but now I’m making chicken fried chicken (as opposed to fried chicken) and fried tofu. The dipping and coasting process takes awhile until you know what you’re doing.
I’m also looking forward to making bread in it because it has proofing and baking settings. I’ve never made bread before either, so I’m sure that will take some time to figure out as well.
All in all, I like the toaster oven/air fryer combo if for no other reason that it’s not one-use only.
Hi Paige! I am with you on the small amount of food it holds. It definitely works well for 1 -2 servings or after school snacks. (Kids can make their own food!). I’ll be sharing more recipes for the air fryer recipes, so I hope you come back and visit. Thank you so much for sharing your very helpful tips and experiences with this product.
This is a lie. My air fryer or the two I’ve used did none of these things. It’s perfect. Eithet you got a lemon, or don’t know how to use it. Bums me out how anyone can write anything on the internet and people eat it up…
Hi Julys! I’ve used the air fryer for 5 years now. I still think it’s loud and steams too much, but I will be updating the review shortly to explain my personal experiences with this product. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment! 🙂
This company and/ or sister companies ( possibly even the magazine wire cutter) ) may be writing this content, so as to boost sales of other products they have on sale: rather than buying an air fryer elsewhere.
I ( and seems like many others in the comments agrees) have no problem with the air fryers and nothing like the aforementioned problems in this article. They are extremely versatile and I would highly recommend.
Hi Kurtis! This site is written by me (a disgruntled home cook, former professional cook), and I have no affiliation with any air fryer products. My review will be updated soon, after having used the air fryer for years now. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!